The Milky Way is no frisbee — Rather than being flat as a Frisbee, the Milky Way’s star-studded disk is twisted and warped, according to a new three-dimensional map of our home galaxy. Viewed from the side, the spiral arms girdling our galaxy’s bulging core would resemble a record bent into an S shape, or a softly poached egg sliding off a slotted spoon.
~ Take that, Flat Universers!
Football planet leaks heavy metal — Iron and magnesium gases are escaping the atmosphere of WASP-121b, a hot Jupiter located around 880 light-years from Earth, according to new research published in the Astronomical Journal.
WASP-121b has a mass about 1.8 times that of Jupiter, and it’s very close to its host star, requiring just 1.275 days to make a complete orbit.
~ Hang on for a wild ride.
Light sail cube sat proves itself — Since unfurling the spacecraft’s silver solar sail last week, mission managers have been optimising the way the spacecraft orients itself during solar sailing. LightSail 2 has begun raising its orbit around the Earth to about 2 kilometres. The mission team has confirmed the apogee increase can only be attributed to solar sailing, meaning LightSail 2 has successfully completed its primary goal of demonstrating flight by light for CubeSats.
~ LightSail is a citizen-funded project from The Planetary Society.
Intel Ice Lake processors — Intel has finally unveiled its first batch of 10th-generation Core processors, Ice Lake. The 10-nanometer laptop chips are designed for better board integration and include native support for Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 3.
~ Thus these are options Apple has for future MacBooks.
Better bubble wrap — 3M has created an alternative to space-wasting and plastic proliferating bubble wrap with Flex & Seal Shipping Rolls. The material is like a padded shipping envelope that comes deconstructed: the shipper has to do all of the assembly. But it allows for the creation of custom padded envelopes that are only as large as needed.
~ The plastic is even recyclable, to a degree anyway.
Soft robot as ‘good’ as a cockroach — A group of researchers from Tsinghua University in China and University of California, Berkeley have presented a new kind of soft robot that’s both higher performance and much more robust than just about anything seen before. The deceptively simple robot looks like a bent strip of paper, but it’s able to move at 20 body lengths per second and survive being stomped on. Take that, cockroaches.
~ Hopefully they’re more hygienic, too.
Texan wind — Wind power has surpassed coal for the first time in Texas, according to a new report. The numbers cap an enormous rise in wind power in the nation’s top energy-producing state over the past decades.
~ The real challenge is to harness all that wind from Donald Trump into something actually beneficial to all humans.
Permanently magnetic — Scientists have created a permanently magnetic liquid. The liquid droplets can morph into various shapes and be externally manipulated to move around, according to a new study.
The liquid droplets can change shape from a sphere to a cylinder to a pancake.
~ So can I stick my drink to a metal table top? That could be useful in space.